December marks the arrival of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) boys and girl soccer seasons. Six Santa Monica high schools are fielding teams including Samohi, St. Monica’s, Crossroads, New Roads, Lighthouse Christian, and Pacifica Christian.
One notable development is the return of Coach Jimmy Chapman to the Samohi program after a one year hiatus. Two years ago Chapman coached the Samohi boys team to a 29-0-1 record. They won the CIF championship in the southern half of the state, and ended up ranked #2 in one poll among thousands of high schools across the nation. Few if any other Santa Monica high school teams in any sport have fared so well.
Chapman will be coaching the girls Viking varsity along with Coach Angel Vasquez. Interscholastic play began December 2, with the first Ocean League game against Morningside on January 13. Last year’s girls varsity went undefeated in Ocean League play, and advanced as far as the second round in CIF playoffs. This year will be a challenge for the young squad. The varsity roster includes only four seniors; Rachel Forer, Shannon Rock, Amanda Phillips, and Amanda Minderhout. Juniors include Nichole Lettiere, Mikka Alemania, Julia Glanz, Cheynne Sommo, Brittany Garcia, Stephanie Beccera, and Kate Quinones. Sophomores Claire Saiza, Kristen Vasquez, Lauren Parker, Cristina Battaglia, Sara Khodakarami, and Karishma Narayan complete the squad.
Serafin Rodriguez is Director of the Samohi soccer program and Head Coach of the boys varsity. The boys’ opener was at Milikan on December 1, and their first Ocean League game will be against Beverly Hills on January 20.
Youth soccer is highly popular in Santa Monica. The local AYSO Region alone fields over 1,500 players aged 4-19 each fall and is a feeder to the high school programs. The community’s support of soccer is strong as well, including no fewer than five state-of-the-art artificial turf soccer venues around the city.